Apr 28, 2016 - This diploma was created especially for the Head Start Program. It is not editable. Just print in color on card stock or premium paper and write in the student name and teacher name (s) and date. The Georgia Head Start Association, Inc. (GHSA) is a statewide non-profit organization with the mission to provide education, leadership and advocacy that supports Head Start programs’ efforts in delivering high quality comprehensive services to Georgia’ to enhance the capability of local Head Start programs to deliver quality comprehensive services to children and their families.
How does it work?
The program prepares children to enter school ready to learn and supports a child’s mental, social, and emotional development. Head Start programs also provide participating children and their families with information on health, nutrition, social development, and other services.
HS programs serve nutritious breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks to your child at no cost to your family. Depending on the program location, your child may be brought to and from school by an adult who is at least 18 years old.
The Philadelphia School District runs its own Head Start centers and also partners with private pre-kindergarten providers in the area.
Am I eligible:
You are likely eligible for Head Start if:
- Your child is between the ages of 3 and 5
- You meet income guidelines: Your child’s eligibility to receive HS funding is based on your family’s size and income. To be eligible to receive HS funding, your total annual family income must be 100% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Look below to see whether you’re likely to quality for HS funding based on the number of people in your family and how much you make:
Maximum Yearly Family Income (2018)
Each child care provider may also have specific requirements for enrollment. For instance, in an area with high incarceration rates, the local HS provider may prioritize children with an incarcerated parent. You must check with the HS provider closest to you to determine individual eligibility.
Families experiencing homelessness or children who are in foster care are automatically eligible to receive Head Start funding.
Families who receive SSI or TANF are also automatically eligible.
How to Apply?
To see if your family is eligible for Head Start, you will need to contact a Head Start program directly.
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Find a Head Start program in your area by:
- Visiting our quality child care map here
- Visiting Great Philly Schools ECE here and inputting your zip code
- Using the Head Start Locator here (and below)
- Calling 1-866-763-6481 (toll-free)
- Call the Office of Early Childhood Education at 215-400-4270 and request a Pre-K Head Start Registration packet to be mailed to you
The information needed to complete an application may include:
- Completed Head Start Application
- Verification of your child’s birth
- Verification of your family’s total income
- Photo ID of Parent / Guardian
- Your child’s immunization record and Health Assessment
- Child’s IEP or CER (if applicable)
** NOTE: Children are entitled to Head Start funding regardless of immigration status.**
Where can I learn more?
- School District of Philadelphia website
Access to Early Childhood Development Services for Homeless Families with Young Children: An Exploratory Project
This policy brief from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families(ACF) summarizes selected literature on homeless families with young children, and incorporates findings from a project prepared for ACF on the challenges facing families with young children who are temporarily staying with others or in motels/hotels. The brief examines the following questions: 1 - What are families' current living arrangements, and do they have alternative plans for shelter if they cannot stay at their current temporary location and are unable to receive the services of a shelter? 2 - What conditions are homeless families and children exposed to when they cannot or do not access the services of a shelter? 3 - To what extent are families knowledgeable about the federally sponsored early childhood support services available to them?
Download the Access to Early Childhood Development Services for Homeless Families with Young Children: An Exploratory Project.
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! is a coordinated federal initiative to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for families and providers caring for young children. The initiative consolidates materials from a wide array of federal agencies and non-federal partners, and includes tools designed specifically for a variety of audiences, including housing and homeless shelter providers.
Visit the Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! website.
Building Partnerships to Address Family Homelessness
This resource from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families provides background information on Head Start and Early Head Start programs, shares highlights of how strong partnerships have addressed family homelessness, offers resources to encourage Head Start grantees and housing service providers to work together to expand services for children experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness, and presents resources to help providers connect families to other services they may need.
Download Building Partnerships to Address Family Homelessness.
HHS just launched a new website, ChildCare.gov. It includes a lot of helpful information for parents seeking childcare and other resources. It also includes a state-specific page with links to things like:
- Understanding and Finding Child Care
- Financial assistance for families
- Health and social services
- Child development and early learning
Compounding Stress: The Timing and Duration Effects of Homelessness on Children's Health
This joint brief from Children's Health Watch and the Center for Housing Policy at the National Housing Conference examines the effects of the timing and duration of homelessness on young children's health and development. According to the brief, the earlier and longer a child experiences homelessness, the greater the cumulative toll on his or her brain and body functions and the greater the likelihood he or she will suffer from a stress-related chronic disease later in life.
Download Compounding Stress: The Timing and Duration Effects of Homelessness on Children's Health.
Early Childhood Homelessness in the United States: 50-State Profile
This 2020 report from the U.S. Department of Education compiles data from multiple sources from the 2017-18 school year to provide information on the extent of early childhood homelessness and the availability of federally-funded early childhood education for young children experiencing homelessness across the United States.
Donwload Early Childhood Homelessness State Profiles. (2020)
Download Early Childhood Homelessness State Profiles 2019. (June 2019)
Download Early Childhood Homelessness State Profiles 2018. (December 2018)
Download Early Childhood Homelessness in the United States: 50-State Profile. (updated Jun 2017)
Download Early Childhood Homelessness in the United States: 50-State Profile. (original, Jan 2016)
Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters
This tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is designed to help shelter staff members create shelter environments that are safe and developmentally appropriate for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The tool provides recommendations and information on how shelter environments, programming, policies, and staff can support early childhood safety and development.
Download the Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters.
Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Supportive Housing
This tool, developed collaboratively by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Corporation for Supportive Housing, is designed to help supportive services and property management staff create environments and supportive services that are safe and developmentally appropriate for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The tool includes recommendations and information on how the physical spaces, programming, supportive services, policies and procedures, and staff can support early childhood safety and development.
Download the Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Supportive Housing.
Early Education Home Visiting: Supporting Children Experiencing Homelessness
This brief from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) discusses the benefits of early education home visiting programs for support families experiencing homelessness and offers several suggested models for implementing this type of program.
Download Early Education Home Visiting: Supporting Children Experiencing Homelessness.
Facilitating Access to Early Care and Education for Children Experiencing Homelessness
Helping Young Children Grow and Learn: A Guide for Families and Shelter Providers
Download Helping Young Children Grow and Learn: A Guide for Families and Shelter Providers.
Leveraging Data to Support Children Experiencing Homelessness
Meeting the Child Care Needs of Homeless Families: How Do States Stack Up?This report from the Institute for Children, Poverty, & Homelessness (ICPH) explores the extent to which child care assistance for low-income families provided through the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is meeting the needs of homeless families with young children. The report examines each state's CCDF plan for federal Fiscal Years 2014-15 and analyzes the state's approach to serving young homeless children under that plan in key areas related to barriers and challenges faced by homeless families.
Promising Practices for Children Experiencing Homelessness: A Look at Two StatesThis brief from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families provides an overview of the effects of homelessness on young children; federal initiatives that have expanded access to early care and learning for young children experiencing homelessness including Head Start and Early Head Start, the Child Care and Development Fund, Early Childhood State Advisory Councils, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education programs, and the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge; and how two states - Massachusetts and Oregon -have implemented innovative policies to improve early childhood outcomes for young children experiencing homelessness. The brief also presents recommendations for how states can learn from the policies established in Massachusetts and Oregon to develop their own interventions.
Resources for Young Parents and Children Experiencing HomelessnessThis youth.gov webpage gives practitioners, policymakers, and young parents access to resources about programs, guidance, practices, and supports available to young homeless parents and their children, including resources on parenting supports, such as fact sheets for parents and providers and a review of relevant home visiting research; resources related to mental health and substance use issues, ranging from evidence-based practices to fact sheets on Medicaid eligibility for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness; and webinars on topics such as engaging young fathers, integrating early childhood home visiting and homelessness systems, and access to health care for pregnant and parenting youth.
Download Free Georgia Head Start Pre K Program Budget
State and Community Homelessness Maps
State Early Childhood Profiles: Improving the Odds for Young ChildrenThese state profiles from the National Center for Children in Poverty provide a unique picture of the policy choices states make to promote healthy development and school readiness. It reviews policies that promote healthy development, high-quality early care and education, and effective parenting for young children.
Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness
Visit the Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness learning module webpage.
Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children
Download Free Georgia Head Start Pre K Program Application
Visit the Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children webpage.
Too Small to Fail
Georgia Pre K At Home
Visit the Too Small to Fail website.
Using the Best That We Know: Supporting Young Children Experiencing Homelessness
Download Using the Best That We Know: Supporting Young Children Experiencing Homelessness.
Well-being of Young Children after Experiencing HomelessnessThis research brief from the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services examines the well-being of young children 20 months after staying in emergency homeless shelters with their families. Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Family Options Study, the brief explores young children's pre-reading skills, pre-math skills, developmental delays, and behavior challenges. It also examines housing instability, child care instability, and enrollment in center-based care and Head Start, and associations between housing and child care stability and child well-being.
Download Free Georgia Head Start Pre K Program Requirements
When the Bough Breaks: The Effects of Homelessness on Young Children
Head Start Pre K Counts
Download When the Bough Breaks: The Effects of Homelessness on Young Children.